Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Partial Phase Eclipse with Sunspots

With the adrenaline rush of racing 11 miles south at the last minute with Beau Hartweg to see totality through relatively clear skies, after we returned to Camp Drake, base of operations for Project Stratoclipse, I almost didn't have the presence of mind to take advantage of the fact that the clouds had finally cleared and take any shots of the partial phase of the eclipse. I guess it felt like since I'd missed the first half and totality to clouds, shooting any close-up shots was anti-climatic.

And then I remembered the sunspots. The show was almost over by the time I was set up again but I did manage to get a few decent shots before the end. The first shot is from about 6 minutes before the end of the eclipse and the second one is from less than a minute before the end (4th contact or C4). Note that in the second one there is another group of sunspots visible that were covered by the moon in the first one.

Pretty cool! Can't wait for 2024!

For anyone interested, these were shot with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikon 80-400mm lens on a (roughly) polar-aligned equatorial mount. The shots were taken through a home-made Baader film solar filter.

About 6 minutes before end of eclipse (C4), one sunspot group. 

Less than a minute left before C4, second set of sunspots now visible.

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